Master of Education In Middle And Secondary Grades

Program Plan of Study

Strand:  SECONDARY EDUCATION  In Science and Social Studies *
Coordinator: Tina Heafner

Overview:  Faculty in the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, and K-12 Education invite professionals with an interest in the adolescent learner to work collaboratively with them in addressing the rewards and challenges found in teaching contemporary adolescents. Those who join this program will graduate as reflective thinkers who have strong academic backgrounds, solid research agendas, and informed commitments to young adults. Members of the Middle and Secondary Grades Graduate Faculty at UNC Charlotte are dedicated to the preparation of quality professionals who are excellent lifelong learners and leaders. Successful completion of this program leads to M level certification.
The Program:  This 33-hour NCATE and NCDPI accredited program is designed to provide programs of advanced study which are built upon a body of knowledge and expertise common to educational professionals. The program is composed of five strands that concentrate on developing knowledgeable, effective, reflective and responsive practitioners who will become leaders in the profession. The program includes study in areas such as educational research methodology, curriculum theory, analysis of teaching, advanced methodology, and curriculum material development including the application of technology in teaching. In addition, the program includes advanced coursework in the candidate's respective discipline (i.e., Social Studies, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and Science). Courses are also appropriate for teacher licensure renewal or individual professional growth.  The program is advanced licensure and requires that teachers are currently employed in at least the last 9 hours of the program.

Program Goals:  Successful graduates will possess a comprehensive pedagogical, conceptual, and reflective knowledge base that can be applied to their classrooms through effective instruction, responsivity and collaboration. This developed and applied knowledge will be, in turn, shared with other professionals through a variety of leadership opportunities. Both the College’s Conceptual Framework and the following goals provide structure for the entire program:

Program graduates will be able to:

1) Self-direct their personal and professional growth
2) Respond effectively to adolescent differences, equity and diversity, and global learning communities
3) Demonstrate advanced pedagogical content knowledge of the curriculum, as well as apply 21st knowledge, skills, and technical expertise
4) Improve educational practice through critical self-reflection, self-assessment, and applied research
5) Work collaboratively with colleagues, professionals, parents, guardians, families and individuals charged with the well being of learners
6) Assume a leadership role at the local, district, regional, state, or national level

Departmental Admission Requirements:

1) A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
2) A North Carolina “A” license in Secondary Education, or the equivalent from another state in both the track and content field of the program to which the candidate is making application
3) Teaching experience in a middle grades or secondary classroom applicable to applicant's initial teaching license
4) An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 overall and 3.0 in the junior/senior years
5) A satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
6) A written narrative providing a statement of purpose for Master’s degree study
7) Strong letters of recommendation from three professional educators

Core Courses
There are six core courses required that are common to both the middle grades and secondary tracks. These include:

RSCH 6101 Educational Research Methods (3)
MDSK 6156 Curriculum, Teaching, and Contemporary Issues (3)
MDSK 6220 Adolescence and Learning (3)
MDSK 6260 Principles of Teacher Leadership (3)
MDSK 6691 Seminar in Professional Development (3)
TESL 6206 Globalization, Communities, and Schools (3)

Each track allows one three-hour advanced specialized pedagogy choice from selected coursework.

Capstone Experience
Candidates in both middle grades and secondary must complete a capstone experience. They may choose from either a comprehensive portfolio or research project.

Each candidate will have an assigned advisor within the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, and K-12 Education.

Graduates will be eligible to receive an Advanced Competency “M” license from the state of North Carolina in addition to their Master’s Degree.

Qualifying Examination
Acceptable scores on either the GRE or MAT.

Candidates will convene a committee of three graduate faculty members whom they will select with assistance from their department advisor if a research project is selected as the capstone experience. The primary role of this committee is to assess the research project. All other candidates will complete the comprehensive portfolio which will be guided by the course instructor for MDSK 6691.

Research Opportunities and Experiences
There are many opportunities for candidates to participate in research studies on either an independent or collaborative basis. These opportunities are available with Department faculty members, through assigned coursework, and through the research project. 

Financial Support:  The Department has a limited number of graduate assistantships. Typical stipends range from $7,000-$10,000 for the academic year. Applications are available from , Office Manager, Department of Middle Grades, Secondary and K-12 Education 704-687-8877.

For more information contact:

Dr. Tina Heafner
Secondary Graduate Coordinator
Department of Middle Grades, Secondary and K-12 Education
UNC Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
704-687-8875 (voice) / 704-687-1630 (fax)

The University Catalog can be accessed here. Application forms and materials can be accesses on the Graduate School web site

Graduate Admissions
UNC Charlotte
210 Cato Hall 
9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-5503 704-687-3279 (Fax)
Graduate Admissions Office Web Address:

Apply Online here.

Note: the University Catalog and current Schedule of Courses are available online at:

To Contact the Office of Middle, Secondary, K-12 Education
Phone: 704-687-8875 or 704-687-8878
Fax: 704-687-1630